Wallace Gordon Burns Sr. dies at age 90

Banker was a senior vice president at Provident

August 08, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Wallace Gordon Burns Sr., a retired bank executive who enjoyed collecting books, died Monday in his sleep at his home in Zellwood, Fla. He was 90.

Mr. Burns, the son of a carpenter and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised near Druid Hill Park and Pigtown. He was a 1937 graduate of City College.

During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps for four years at Turner Field in Albany, Ga., where he was crew chief on B-25 Mitchell Bombers.

Mr. Burns began his banking career in 1937 when he went to work as a teller for Provident Savings Bank, eventually rising through the ranks to senior vice president. He retired in 1981.

"He was a self-made man," said a daughter, Judith Ann Burns of Bostic, N.C. "He never missed a day of work in his 44 years at the bank."

Mr. Burns, who was known as Gordon, was described by his daughter as being a "bright and equitable man of impeccable integrity."

Physically active, Mr. Burns enjoyed bowling, golfing and swimming and was a daily jogger and walker.

He was an avid reader, his daughter said, who "habitually read many books each month," and had established a sizable personal library.

Mr. Burns was one of the first 500 Colts season ticket holders.

"He was a season ticketholder two years before the team came to Baltimore. He had seats on the 50-yard line for 50 years," his daughter said.

The former Catonsville and Ellicott City resident had lived in Zellwood since 1982.

From 1919 to 1962, he had been a member, treasurer and choir director at the old Rogers Memorial United Methodist Church in Southwest Baltimore. After moving to Howard County in 1962, he joined Linden-Linthicum United Methodist Church, where he was church treasurer.

Since moving to Zellwood, he had been a member of Zellwood United Methodist Church.

His wife of 57 years, the former Mary Jane Kniese, died in 1997.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

Also surviving are two sons, Wallace G. Burns Jr. of Westminster and Richard C. Burns of Hillsboro, W.Va.; another daughter, Pamela Mason Turner of Austin, Texas; five grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.


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